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'Shining' leads to charge against Hastings man

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has charged an 18-year-old Hastings man with one count of using artificial lights to locate animals.

The charge was filed after a Nov. 6 incident in a harvested filed just south of Hastings in which Michael Joseph Lawrence allegedly used his headlights to "shine" the field for possible deer.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, a DNR officer had received complaints of deers being shined and shot at off the road near the field. The officers worked several hours of shining enforcements in the area.

At about 7:30 p.m., a driver, identified as Lawrence, stopped his vehicle and shined the entire field with his headlights. The vehicle moved forward and reverse several times to shine the entire field.

The officer followed the vehicles to the intersection at Michael Avenue and 200th Street. When the driver did not initiate a full stop or signal his turn, the DNR officer initiated a stop of the vehicle. During the conversation with the officer, Lawrence said he was out shining and looking for deer. He said he did not think it was illegal to shine deer with his vehicle's headlights.

Lawrence also said he had weapons in his vehicle. They were seized by the DNR officer.